Awards Will Help Over 70 Farms Reduce Their Environmental Footprints and Prepare for Extreme Weather Events
Selected Projects Will Reduce Greenhouse Gases by an Estimated 68,495 Metric Tons of CO2e Per Year
Supports Governor's Nation-Leading Climate Agenda and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced nearly $7.9 million is being awarded through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program to help over 70 farms across the state reduce their environmental footprints and prepare for extreme weather events related to climate change. The selected projects will reduce greenhouse gases by an estimated 68,495 metric tons of CO2e per year, or as much as eliminating almost 14,800 cars per year from the road.
"New York's farmers are on the front lines of the fight against climate change and among the first to feel the devastating effects of extreme weather events that have become all too common in recent years," Governor Hochul said. "Our Climate Resilient Farming Program gives farmers the resources they need to prepare for and respond to whatever weather events the future holds and continue their critical work contributing to our local economies, and producing fresh, healthy products for all New Yorkers."
Launched in 2015, the Climate Resilient Farming Program supports the state's agricultural sector in meeting its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Through six rounds of funding to date, nearly $20 million has been awarded to assist farms across New York State.
Projects awarded in Round 6 focused on Best Management Practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance soil health, and promote energy savings in the Capital Region, as well as Central New York, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York regions. Projects also increase irrigation capacity and emphasize water management to mitigate the effects of periods of drought on crops and livestock, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding.
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts were awarded the grants on behalf of farmers in one of three tracks: manure storage cover and capture; riparian, floodplain, and upland water management; and Healthy Soils NY.
The following county Soil and Water Conservation Districts were awarded grants to assist farms to implement climate-related projects:
CAPITAL REGION - Total Award, $393,200
- Washington County SWCD was awarded $393,200 to assist two farms.
CENTRAL NEW YORK - Total Award, $1,598,209
- Cayuga SWCD was awarded $811,920 to assist nine farms.
- Cortland SWCD was awarded $492,137 to assist three farms.
- Madison SWCD was awarded $98,800 to assist several farms.
- Onondaga SWCD was awarded $195,352 to assist nine farms.
FINGER LAKES - Total Award, $1,865,319
- Genesee SWCD was awarded $328,364 to assist four farms.
- Livingston SWCD was awarded $671,310 to assist two farms.
- Ontario SWCD was awarded $421,320 to assist one farm.
- Wayne SWCD was awarded $58,775 to assist one farm.
- Yates SWCD was awarded $385,550 to assist two farms.
HUDSON VALLEY - Total Award, $307,709
- Orange SWCD was awarded $178,595 to assist five farms.
- Ulster SWCD was awarded $129,114 to assist several farms.
MOHAWK VALLEY - Total Award, $823,381
- Fulton SWCD was awarded $132,986 to assist four farms.
- Montgomery SWCD was awarded $470,410 to assist one farm.
- Schoharie SWCD was awarded $219,985 to assist one farm.
NORTH COUNTRY - Total Award, $1,736,148
- Clinton SWCD was awarded $620,580 to assist one farm.
- Essex SWCD was awarded $689,524 to assist six farms.
- St. Lawrence SWCD was awarded $426,044 to assist one farm.
SOUTHERN TIER - Total Award, $693,734
- Delaware SWCD was awarded $159,160 to assist three farms.
- Tioga SWCD was awarded $534,574 to assist four farms.
WESTERN NEW YORK - Total Award, $426,345
- Allegany SWCD was awarded $34,062 to assist one farm.
- Erie SWCD was awarded $256,923 to assist four farms.
- Niagara SWCD was awarded $135,360 to assist four farms.
A complete list of the project descriptions can be found here.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York's Climate Resilient Farming program has a proven history of helping farmers better manage extreme weather events that are becoming more common, while reducing their environmental footprint and protecting our surrounding natural resources. I thank Governor Hochul for her historic commitment to expanding this program and wish all of our Soil and Water Conservation Districts and farmers the best as they embark on their projects, which are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the rate of removing almost 14,800 cars from the road. That is certainly something to celebrate during Climate Week."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "New York's farmers are at the forefront of environmental stewardship, managing smart, sustainable production practices. DEC applauds the ongoing support for agriculture through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program in helping to build upon Governor Hochul's efforts to continue incorporating innovative ways to combat climate change while ensuring New York State's farms remain competitive, profitable, and thriving."
New York State Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey said, "New York farmers are on the frontlines of climate change and have a legacy of leading on proven agricultural practices that build soil health and protect our air and water. The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is an important resource that allows farmers to expand these stewardship efforts while improving their resiliency to the impacts of extreme weather. I'm proud to support this vital funding for farms across New York State, including for Ulster and Montgomery County SWCD in my district, and will continue to deliver funding that helps more farmers bolster our fight against the climate crisis."
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, Agriculture Committee Chair, said, "The agricultural community stands ready to do its part to address the climate crisis they know too well. The Climate Resilient Farming Program provides the support farmers need to better protect our soil and water resources. I'd like to thank the Governor for her strong support of the program and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts who will work closely with these New York farms."
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "New York's farmers take environmental management seriously as we continuously look to find new ways to improve what we do on the farm to safeguard our natural resources. Agriculture is part of the solution to mitigating climate change and the impacts it could have on our land, crops, and animals. New York Farm Bureau thanks the governor for her ongoing commitment to the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Programs and the support of our valuable Soil and Water Conservation Districts that partner with farmers to implement sustainability projects."
New York State Soil and Water Conservation District Chair Dale Stein said, "New York's farmers, working in partnership with our Soil and Water Districts, have long been leaders in environmental stewardship. The State's Climate Resilient Farming grants have helped them to expand their efforts to reduce their environmental footprints and protect from extreme weather events. This next round of the program builds on this success and is a tremendous support to farmers as they continue their work."
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the State's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.